I attend a lot of technology trade shows throughout the year and still remember going to my first technology event for F5 back in 2004. Small, almost high school science fair type booths handing out glossy flyers of the latest product along with our famous squeeze balls.
And for the years that followed, the events, booths, sessions and presentations got bigger and better...but the expo vendors were still almost exclusive to technology providers. The attendees came from different industries and walks of life but they were there to learn about the latest tech solutions offered by these semi-tented companies.
Recently, at events like MWC, RSA, VMworld and AWS re:Invent, I've started noticing a number of traditionally non-technology specific vendors exhibiting and positioning within technology events. Granted, over the years there have been a smattering of one-offs at events and of course there is CES but these days, there seems to be more historically non-tech companies appearing and exhibiting at tech events.
But it makes total sense.
I really took notice during Mobile World Congress earlier this year where a number of auto manufactures had huge displays showing their software-driven connected cars and how mobile technologies are enabling these internet connected devices. Most auto manufacturers are already partnering with multiple service providers and technology companies to bring mobility, connectivity and interaction to the car.
And then just recently at AWS re:Invent, amongst all the technology companies, there was an apparel, shoe and fitness manufacturer highlighting the technology within their wearables. Along with clothing, these companies are becoming software and data warehouses connecting them directly to the consumer. It is not just about the cool laces anymore, it's about measuring the impact of your foot to the ground and automatically adjusting the cushion. It's about getting instant feedback about your golf swing from the shirt you are wearing. It's about measuring your vitals to ensure your activity is healthy and productive.
And that is all about the embedded technology.
As more home appliances, wearables, automobiles, cameras, fitness trackers, and any other of these sensors and actuators powering the Internet of Things gets connected and generates data, I suspect we'll be seeing more ovens, autos, shoes and other stuff appearing at these industry events.